The iPad mini: Hit or Miss? [Editorial]

Friends, the hour is almost upon us. Tomorrow will mark the announcement of the iPad mini, inevitably accompanied by much fanfare, a smattering of mind-blowing Apple statistics and maybe even the performance of a successful rock band. But with that being said, what are the prospect for the iPad mini? Are people going to buy it? Who are those people, and why do they want one?

The following predictions are based on the premise that there will in fact be an iPad mini, and that it will arrive sporting all the features considered in this Rumor round up. Now that you’ve read that, let’s get cracking.

Fanboys

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. We are all well aware that people in our world live for Apple products. And that is no bad thing. Singers, sports franchises and actors all have die-hard fans, so why shouldn’t tech companies? In the same way that you might buy every album released by The Killers, or attend every New Orleans Saints game (Go Saints!), some people will buy the iPad mini simply  because Apple have released the iPad mini. People like David Wu

i’M not sad. 

As is the case with every Apple product release, there will be queues worldwide for this device. And at the front, will be the fanboys. But who next?
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Christmas shoppers

With Christmas less than 64 days away, Christmas shopping is about to become the driving force of our lives. Being British, I tend to leave mine until Christmas Eve, but plenty of eager shoppers will see the potential of the iPad mini as a gift for a loved one, a relative or a close friend. I can imagine that some people have always found that the current iPad is a little too steeply priced to be purchased as a gift. I’ve no doubt it’s been bought as a gift on countless occasions, but there will definitely by gift-buyers deterred by the price. Unless of course, they want a really expensive gift in return… The iPad mini’s predicted lower price will make it a big hit with the shoppers looking for a present this holiday season.

Kids

Recent analysis by Piper Jaffray put iPad ownership among American teenagers at 31%.  With 44% of teens owning a “tablet computer,” that means the iPad has 72% penetration in this demographic. However, in a survey of around 8,000 teens, 20% said they were likely to buy a tablet in the next six months, so that nearly two-thirds of teens will own a tablet by the middle of next year. The likelihood of teens buying this device again comes down to price. Apple has for many years triumphantly told us about the educational value of its devices in all areas of study. There are thousands of educational apps ranging from Spanish and French to History and Math. The iPad’s incredible ease of use makes it particularly good at satisfying the educational needs of young children, who respond well to visual and kinaesthetic learning. The iPad is a phenomenal learning tool, but its also a very expensive one. Most teenagers aren’t really at a stage where they can fork out 500/600/700$ for a tablet. However, once again, the iPad mini’s lower price will ensure that if Apple can deliver the same learning experience with this new tablet, whilst also keeping all the features that make the current iPad great, then it will be a massive success with the younger generations.

Those sitting on the fence

It’s quite clear that most of what I’m saying revolves around the rumored price of the iPad mini. Whilst the tablet industry has taken the world over by storm, there are bound to be many potential customers who remain unconvinced, or perhaps, can’t afford to join in the fun. For someone not totally sold on the iPad, splashing out is a big risk to take on a device that you’re not 100% sure you want to buy. A lower price here is sure to make the iPad mini much more appealing to any sceptics, and also to people who simply don’t want to pay through the nose for a tablet experience.

People who want a smaller tablet

Despite the fact that Steve Jobs probably refused to acknowledge the existence of such people, the success of the Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire has shown that there is a huge customer base of people who really do want a smaller tablet. For some, the seller will be increased portability that comes with a smaller device, 9.7 inches is perfect tablet size for some, but others will have found that size a little unwieldy. For others, the demands of a job or hobby might require a smaller tablet that the current iPad simply hasn’t been able to satisfy.

Now I want to hear from you. Do you fall into one of the categories that I’ve considered here? Or are you buying the iPad mini for a different reason? Let me know in the comments, and on my Twitter @TiP_Stephen, and remember to stay tuned to TiP tomorrow for the latest on the iPad mini, and the rest of tomorrow’s event as it happens!

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  • http://the-suit.com dgPehrson

    I think it would be a hit as long as Apple keeps the prices starting at $250 or $299 to be competitive with other tablets at the same size.  Otherwise, what’s the point of having a mini if you can’t eat at the dominating android market?